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60 second interview: Umar Sadiq

Umar Sadiq
Action Images/Matthew Childs
Paul Wheeler talks to Umar Sadiq, a hippy at heart

When and why you started boxing:
I took up Boxercise when I was 16, just to pursue a healthy lifestyle rather than for competition. At 19 and after a few months out of the gym, I turned up one morning for some sparring. I’d been out the night before and had only had three hours of sleep, but I performed very well in a spar against a guy who’d won the Novices that year. This convinced me that I had something that I just couldn’t ignore.

Favourite all-time fighter:
I like athletic and durable fighters who think in the ring, such as Sugar Ray Robinson, Willie Pep, Thomas Hearns, Muhammad Ali, Roy Jones Jnr, Andre Ward and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Best fight you’ve seen:

Carl Froch-George Groves II. I watched it on a laptop in a hostel in Malaysia. From beginning to end it had all the right ingredients.

Personal career highlight:

Representing my birth nation, Nigeria, as an amateur.

Toughest opponent:

Lewis van Poetsch, who I fought on my pro debut [w pts 4 – September 2017]. He took some hard shots.

Umar Sadiq
Sadiq made his debut against Lewis van Poetsch at the Copper Box Action Images/Matthew Childs

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:

Thinking is definitely my main strength, but on the flip side I do overthink at times.

Training tip:

Dedicate yourself to your craft.

Favourite meal/restaurant:

I grew up eating pounded yam and egusi soup. I’m a big lover of street food markets.

Best friends in boxing:

Lawrence Okolie, Dan Azeez, Muheeb Fazeldin and Ohara Davies.

Other sportsman you would like to be:

I’m happy being myself.

Last film/TV show you saw:

The final series of Game of Thrones! I thought the ending was good.

Who would play you in a film of your life:

Michael B. Jordan is an actor I really admire and it helps that he’s already starred in boxing movies!

Have you ever been starstruck:

I always thought that Floyd Mayweather would have that effect on me, but when I met him a couple of years ago in London I thought to myself, ‘He’s just another man.’

Last time you cried:

I can’t remember, but it could happen next when I win a major title!

Best advice received:

We’re not in control of most things externally, but we are in control of how we interpret them.

Worst rumour about yourself:

That I’m a diva!

Something not many people know about you:

I’m a hippy at heart!

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